DeWine Visits Cleveland To Announce Funding To Address Lead Crisis

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Gov. Mike DeWine at a roundtable discussion about the lead crisis in Cleveland at University Hospitals.
Gov. DeWine promised to bring more help to Cleveland, where a quarter of kindergartners in public schools had a history of lead poisoning. [Matt Richmond / ideastream]
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In Governor Mike DeWine’s first budget due later this week, he plans to allocate $10 million to the State Child Health Insurance Program for lead cleanup projects, the same amount as in the previous budget. He’ll also call for a $10,000 tax credit to homeowners for lead abatement projects.

DeWine laid out the new measures to address lead contamination in Ohio during a visit to University Hospital’s Rainbow Center for Women and Children Wednesday.

“The announcement that we’re making today about what’s going to be in our budget is just the beginning,” said DeWine, after meeting with local officials and health care workers. “Working with them, we’re going to do more as we move forward.” 

According to an estimate from the Cleveland Foundation, it could cost $50 million just to clean up lead contamination in the city's hardest hit neighborhoods. 

DeWine said the state will also spend $450,000 on training lead abatement workers and press for lead screening of all children on Medicaid.

Cleveland has launched its own campaign to make the city 'lead safe', setting up a coalition of city officials and advocates that plans to propose legislation in May.

Mayor Frank Jackson brought up the city's ongoing work during the meeting and DeWine expressed an interest in supporting it.

“What we’re trying to do is provide money and resources to them so they can help work on this problem,” said DeWine. “So that’s my commitment. We were here today to listen to what they had to say.”

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